Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) Bird information
Little Grebe is the smallest in the grebe family, most widespread and numerous of the grebes, found on a variety of inland waters, mostly with plentiful vegetation emerging above water.
In summer, rust-red cheeks, throat and neck with a bold yellow spot at the base of the bill. In winter, dark cap
and upperparts; buffy throat, neck and flanks.
Little Grebe is Saxes alike bird. India’s smallest water-bird, squat and tailless. Plumage silky and compact; dark brown above; white in flight feathers; white abdomen.
Status: widespread breeding resident; often quite numerous (semi-colonial) at favoured waters both summer and winter.
Similar Species: Litlle Grebe can be confused with Slavonian Grebe and Black-necked Grebe in winter but
short, square-cut tail distinguishes.
Breeding: Chestnut sides of head, neck and throat; black chin; blackish-brown crown, hindneck.
Winter Appearance: Little Grebe Bird has a white chin; brown crown, hind-neck; rufous neck. Purely aquatic; seen singly or in small, scattered groups, often diving and swimming beneath the surface.
Food: aquatic insects, frogs, crustacea.
Voice: shrill trilling notes and an occasional click.
Range: all India, to 2000m in Kashmir. Resident ‘in most areas.
Habitat: village tanks, deep jheels, lakes, reservoirs.
|Size||25 – 29 cm (10 – 11 in)|
|Behaviour||swims, dives from surface, takes off and lands on water|
|Flocking||colonial; small flocks winter|
|Voice||brief whit-whit, loud, far-carrying whinnying song|
|Scientific Name||Tachybaptus ruficollis|
Little Grebe bird identification
|Tail||buff; short and rounded|
|Bill||black with yellow sport at base; short and stubby|
|Ad.winter||brown above, buff below|
|Juvenile||dark cap, Ad.winter|
|Nest||floating mound in water|
|Eggs||4 – 6 white|
|Incubation||19 – 25 days|
|Fledging||44 – 48 days|
|Broods||2; April – July|
|Food||fish, insects, crustaceans|
|Population||9000 – 18,000 pairs; 11,000+ winter|